Belief and Sharing a Vision / by James Leath

A few weeks ago I got a phone call from a coach asking about what he should do with his team who is about to go into playoffs and play a team that beat them pretty bad the previous year. The girls were stressing about it, and he asked what I thought he should do.

I suggested to the coach to write out a practice plan from that day, all the way to championship day, including even the after party celebration. He liked the idea, follow through and presented the updated schedule to his team the next day.

Most of the girls understood and appreciated it. Interestingly, a few parents thought it was a ridiculous idea, and voiced their opinions on social media. Lame. However, that did not deter this coach’s resolve to help his athletes see a brighter future. He told me the energy shifted in a positive way and the girls now saw a different future than before.

With the new schedule, the girls easily beat that team that they were nervous about, went on and won the next game, and came home to a parade in their honor thrown by members of the small town. Their little town was proud of them since the team hadn’t gone that far into the playoffs since 2006.

A few days ago, they made it to the state championship. The Cinderella story came to an end in the final moments of that game, but they played their hearts out in a match no one thought they were good enough to compete in…and until that new schedule came out from their coach who believed in them, not even did they believe they were good enough to be there.

That is the power of belief. That is a leader sharing a vision and having an unwavering resolve to make that vision come to life.

Coach, your team needs to know you believe in them. I’m not talking about blind faith, but real belief in their abilities to compete and be successful because you have created an environment of competition, growth mindset, and constant improvement. Set them up for success, then get out of the way!